One of the biggest pieces of news last week was that - with mere days to go before the end of filming - Shailene Woodley's role as Mary Jane Watson was cut entirely from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, presumably in order to allow for the Gwen Stacy romance to be properly wrapped up ... one way or another.
Woodley probably won't be mourning her role as one of Peter Parker's love interests for long, however; not only is she likely to make her first appearance as the character in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, she's also taking up center stage in her own movie next year - playing protagonist Tris in the adaptation of Veronica Roth's young adult sci-fi novel Divergent.
To give you a taste of what to expect from Divergent, Summit Entertainment has released a new batch of promotional stills from the film, courtesy of Bloody-Disgusting.
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The film takes place in a future where every human is divided up into factions based on their virtues (possibly because the character Meredith from Bratz: The Movie has succeeded in world domination and implemented her ideals of aggressive social segregation). Woodley plays Beatrice Prior, a young woman who is told that she is a Divergent: an anomaly whose personality does not fit clearly into the factions of Erudite, Candor, Amity, Dauntless or Abnegation. Given the choice, she opts for the dangerous trials for acceptance into the faction of Dauntless (for the brave), where she must not only survive her training, but also get to the bottom of a conspiracy to kill all Divergents. A lot like Bratz: The Movie, then.
Actually, that may not be completely accurate. While Divergent is based on a young adult novel, it seems to be more along the lines of The Hunger Games than Twilight or The Host, in the sense that it is primarily a story of the female protagonist's journey into adulthood through a trial of fire. Its direct competition, genre-wise, when it is released next year will be Ender's Game and The Maze Runner, both adaptations of sci-fi novels with similar themes to Divergent.
These new images certainly show that life will not be easy for Tris as she tries to navigate her way through Dauntless training, where the students are put through a wringer of endurance tests designed to hammer away at their greatest fears, while the edge of competition has a nasty tendency to lead to both figurative and literal backstabbing. Pictured alongside Woodley are co-stars Maggie Q, Theo James, Jai Courtney, Zoë Kravitz, Tony Goldwyn and Miles Teller.
Divergent doesn't have much in the way of direct generic competition on its opening weekend; it will be facing off against Muppets Most Wanted and limo-driving thriller Stretch, in which Patrick Wilson plays a chauffeur whose final shift is spent driving round a rich weirdo played by Chris Pine. Will you give Divergent a go, or are you tired of dystopian future science fiction movies?
Divergent is out in theaters on March 21, 2014.